Civilization Starter Kit Progress

Progress on the Civilization Starter Kit has been steady,  including fuel to fund it. This is from September this year:

and we have generated $173k in December from Kickstarter, crowds, and foundations. There is no evidence of funding deceleration. If you give nonprofit sector donations, please consider us.

TED put the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) on the world stage – with almost 1/2M views of the GVCS TED  Talk by now.

We are becoming one of the most collaborative projects in the world. People can get involved locally at Factor e Farm (Dedicated Project Visits), people can contribute technical design to the Wiki, or make remote technical contributions as project proposals and bids for remote prototyping and development – whether directly on GVCS 50 development, resource development, documentation, design challenges, or many other supporting tasks. As we move forward, we gain the ability to pay others to opensource designs. I welcome the recruitment of a Project Co-Founder to help me allocate money – as more than money, we need qualified people to allocate and use that money.  For next year – we want a Farmer/Scientist to feed Factor e Farm with a full organic diet using our equipment; a Master Builder to house our increasing community; and Master Machinist/Fabricator to build out precision machining/digital fabrication/hot metal processing infrastructures. Yes, let’s finish the GVCS 50 by year-end 2012. If things continue as now, we’ll be done ahead of schedule.

We are building infrastructure to scale. The workshop is covered, and I already moved the FeF lathe into the new workshop. Framing for the living units is starting to go on.

We just achieved epic results on tractor fabrication in our new workshop. We documented the complete assembly from individual parts to full tractor: it took James Slade and Ian 8 hours to go from parts:

to a full tractor, while documenting.

The Civilization Starter Kit DVD v0.01 is moving along – section heads are working on parts of the Table of Contents.  We have more people arriving – Aaron to compose a Distributive Enterprise Business Plan for Earth, Luke to document the CNC Torch Table. Brianna is making progress on the ironworker, and buildout of new tractor drive system is approaching in 2 days. Great progress on steam engine – we have identified complete plans for an intensively/extensively scalable modern steam engine, and the heat exchanger/gasified burner to run it is coming along.

If you can come to FeF in the next two weeks – we need to draw up plans for the workshop and living units. We rented a house in town for 6 people, as our living units won’t be ready to move in until mid February. We still would like to compose full cad for the Dimensional Sawmill and Loader Mounted Cement Mixer.  We also need a full embodied energy calculation for our construction. The biggest task is composing crystal clear instructionals. If you do CAD, email me or Mike so we can pass on a few CAD tasks – generating parts drawings and fabrication drawings – where the latter are annotated parts drawings focusing on procedure rather than part dimensions.

In this update, I further emphasize the need for a Project Co-founder to join us at FeF full time as a startup instigator. The project is accelerating, and we need a superstar team. The infrastructure improvements at FeF  will provide space for 10 additional developers – on our way to a world class development facility. We’re cracking barriers to a lifestyle of meaning and contribution to the world. Boundary-smashing, radical iconoclasts only at this point on-site, please. We look forward to remote collaboration from others.

I am being explicit about full shakedown of our tool kit for agriculture, construction, and digital fabrication next year – as a dogfooding prerequisite for further progress – and proof of economic significance. We are looking for a full time farmer/scientist, master builder, and experienced fabricator/machinist to join us on site. Once again – as enterprise instigators, not employees. The reward will be significance of Nobel peace prize caliber at the end of the day – as cracking the post-scarcity economy solution is a deep solution for many world ills.

As a personal aside – I’ve been critiqued many times for my hyperfocus on the 50 GVCS tools, in that I prioritize technology over community. So let me clarify: it takes hyper-radical super-freaks to pull this off. It’s not a walk in the park – general rules of conduct here do not apply. Just today I had a lengthy discussion on the topic. My response is that we cannot even pretend to talk about community development – in a broad sense – unless we address the underlying material scarcity condition that pervades society and affects us in every way. It takes quite a crew to create the alternative –  committing for an intense but finite duration – until the job is done. It is in this context that I call out for completion by year end 2012. Personally – I want to move on to other things. I’ve been told that starting a family might be a good thing.

I am not blind to the power of mind of matter, as I am a meditator – but I strategically choose to postpone the community building aspect once the GVCS is complete. In the meantime – my pastime is delivery of product. I make this choice understanding the tactical resource-scarcity-based difficulty of pulling off this GVCS beehag. We are engaging the impossible on an even more ridiculous time frame. That’s why we will succeed. It is my pleasure that there are 5 die-hards here right now – converging here from their far-away lairs of comfort in the middle of winter – on a mission greater than themselves.

For me, the commitment means complete focus on gnerating economic power (the GVCS) from which we can lay a solid foundation for developing communities – which any interested person would be able to do anywhere. I would love it if someone else could demonstrate that they could generate sufficient resources to develop the GVCS on a 1 year time scale while enjoying a ‘normal lifestyle.’ That’s a contradiction, by definition, yet an expectation of many. Getting there is hard. Once the road is pioneered, everyone can repeat the same. If this is music to your ears – welcome home.


  1. Graham R

    Hey Marcin, I am more elated every time I read new OSE posts. The vision you are manifesting speaks to me more than anything I have seen. I’ve been hoping there are opportunities to contribute my skills with permaculture design or natural building on site. Are you taking farmer applications? I would at least like to visit or be a grunt volunteer. I am wondering if you already have many qualified farmers lined up now.

    1. Marcin

      We are looking for a farmer. Please email me, and start by filling our a Team Culturing Survey on the wiki.

  2. John Bustard

    It is great to hear that things are progressing so well. I find the dedication and achievements of all those working on this project to be inspiring and I’m very glad that you are focusing on products and results, this is what makes this project stand out from all the others and what makes it so important. I’m sure people desire community but great changes require great efforts and I feel you are on the cusp of creating a lasting legacy that could make a profound improvement to the world. Very few people ever get that opportunity and fewer still will have deserved it as much as you have.

  3. Pawe? Sroczynski

    “I’m here to produce results, not to make you feel good.” – Well said!
    Marcin,the way you work is a constant great source of inspirtion for me. Thank you for that. I’m impressed by the results.
    We are going to use them massively.

    Pawe? Sroczy?ski
    Cohabitat Group

  4. julia

    Tell it like it is Doctor.

  5. Jeffery Pinley

    Great work Marcin! I’ll do everything I can get to others involved. My degree won’t help with engineering or CAD, but I will promote and collaborate others. Lets make scarcity based economics a thing of the past!

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  7. Loup Espiègle

    OSE shall prevail !!

    May the winds blow you away from that tricky strait you’re in.

  8. Michael Round

    Hello …

    I run a math, science, programming, critical thinking club in KC called =EQUALS=. At our meeting last night, a gentleman told me about all of this, and I said it sounded like a cool idea. I honestly didn’t believe what he was saying. But here it is, and it’s happening!
    In reading / watching the videos about this, it’s sad to watch education be unexciting, and kids do poorly at what should be not only easy but interesting stuff, while not only practice, but the necessary theory is being applied with what you’re doing. Any industry, of course, unites theory and practice, but your idea sounds incredibly interesting.
    Though I’m not a technical writer, I suspect you’re not looking for a technical writer – who reads that stuff anyways. However, if you’re looking for well-written instructions – and probably something much different than mere instructions, if things are to be built from local materials, maybe I could help. Additionally, imagine the mini educational booklets that could be written to supplement (over-ride) the current K-16 educational system.

    Just some thoughts – I live in Overland Park, KS, and am excited to learn more of your project.

  9. Terry

    Hello Marcin,
    I am a 6th grade teacher who has squeezed in robotics,windmills, solar cars and houses in the past few years.Ninety percent of the students don’t get any hands-on critical thinking activitites’s only memorize this rule etc. Do you have something that a 10-11 year old could create that I could buy from you to do afterschool?

  10. Ben Diedrich


    I fully support your approach. It’s a lot easier to change the world on a full stomach with a roof over your head. The GVCS will be a powerful tool for making many other beehags easier, from reinventing culture, implementing sustainability, arresting human induced climate change, to exploring the stars. It needs to exist first.